BY PRUDENCE IJAH ABUJA
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is supporting the NPCDA in commencing a mass Vaccination campaign for Yellow Fever in FCT, Plateau, Kebbi, Niger, and Sokoto states and some LGAs in Borno state.
The incident Manager of the Yellow Fever Emergency Operations Centre Dr Nwachukwu Williams, who disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at a Media and Civil Society Organization Advocacy Meeting on Lassa Fever AND CSM Preparedness in Nigeria said the vaccination is for people aged between 9 months to 44years.
According to Williams, the phase 2a of the Yellow fever preventive mass vaccination campaign was carried out in Kogi, Kwara and Zamfara states. He urged those in the states where the campaign will hold to ensure they get the Vaccinated as a means of staying free from yellow fever.
Earlier in his presentation, a deputy director in NCDC, Dr Femi Ayoola said the centre is implementing of the pilot of the All Infectious Disease Risk communication adding that they want the number of cases to be reduced drastically.
He urged the media and CSOs to mobilize resources about Lassa fever and Cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) and ensure that Nigerians are fully enlightened on preventive measures.
Ayoola said “we all know that the season when Lassa Fever and Cerebrospinal meningitis affects the citizens the most is fast approaching, hence the need for proper sensitization of the populace and we want the Civil Society Organizations and the Media to be fully involved in dissemination of preventive messages”
A Communication assistant of the NCDC Chimezie Anueyiagu disclosed that the agency has been at the forefront of strengthening the health systems to detect and respond to diseases and hazards that cause deaths.
He said it is important for the various states to send in routine data for proper update into the National epidemiological report as whenever there is a delay from the local government level it reflects on the collation of data at the state level.
According to him, “the weekly epidemiological report is made available to the public every Tuesday on the NCDC website for easy access to useful information on a regular basis”
He said the weekly epidemiological report shows a summary table indicating the number of reported cases and deaths across the country for each priority disease. The report enables us to know the number and distribution of diseases across the country and if our prevention and response strategies are yielding positive results. We help people understand significance of data by placing it in a visual context.
The Team Lead, Lassa Fever Technical Working group NCDC Elsie Ilori said the agency is developing a five-year plan to reduce the spread of Lassa fever in the country.
Ilori said that “after the 2018 outbreak we have trained clinicians in the 36 states of the federation on the clinical management of Lassa Fever. We now have a mass of people who are able to disseminate information to other Nigerians”.
She noted that the health body is working towards having a healthier and safer country through the prevention and control of diseases.
The advocacy meeting is aimed at strengthening the collaboration between the Centre and key stakeholders to enable the citizens make the right choices to protect themselves and their communities from Lassa fever, Yellow fever and Cerebrospinal meningitis.